Tier 12: Stealth Changed

•July 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Quick Note: Shadow’s T12 4p has been changed (and it rocks)
Previously if you had the three major DoTs up on a target the cooldown of MB was reduced.  This would have caused a ton of rotation/priority problems.  Thankfully Blizzard gave this a second look and changed it right before the patch went live.  Our 4p now increased the damage of MB by 25% when all 3 dots are active.  This is a wonderful change that should not change anything about our current playstyle.  Down the road this may alter our stat priorities, but I’ll wait for the big boys to figure that one out since it will take me a long time to acquire the 4p anyways.

Trash Runs Are Back…. rejoice???

•July 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Firelands is out.  Just in time for my vacation! Why doesn’t Blizzard work their patch releases around MY schedule?!?
Fortunately, my vacation actually involves me visiting some guildies so we all got to raid together in person anyways!  The days before I left were filled with trash runs.  I have to say, I was surprised how much fun I was having.  I got to group up with some old friends and make some new ones.  It reminds me of the old fashioned way of running heroics.  I hate cross-realm randoms.  There is no accountability for players to be polite.  Any friends I make I will likely never see again.  I implore you; take the time to do some trash runs.  Talk it up in raid chat/vent/general.  Have a blast.  Some of my best times in WoW have come from boring content and good conversation.  Now that my guild has Shannox on farm I will have to wait for the next large raid to come out to experience that type of organized chaos again.  In the meantime I have a few extra names on my realid to joke around with and run BH alongside :D!

The Replacements

•June 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ah summer.  I’m lucky to live in Central NY where we get the full experience of four seasons.  Snow, Sleet, Rain, and for two blissful weeks out of the year SUNSHINE.  One of the decisions factoring my move to casual raiding was my desire to spend considerably more time away from my home state.  My previous guild (and most progression guilds from my experience) had a strict attendance requirement.  I am a fairly consistent raider.  I tend to adjust my social/work schedule around my raid times; I would say 90+% attendance throughout the year for sure.  My vacations are typically short and sweet and work well with my new guilds raid schedule.  However, as often is the case, summer leads to a drastic change in many players schedules.  This causes many guilds to go out and recruit to fill their gaps.  These “replacements” can create a very sticky situation later on.

The problem typically arises with handling the return of the other players.  Do the replacements earn their spot on the roster full-time, or do the old players get their spot back upon their return?  This year there is a whole new tier being introduced right as graduations/summer vacations are occuring.  Is it fair for people who leave for real life obligations to be given preferential treatment over those who come in to pick up the slack?  I tend to believe that having a short memory is the only way to run a successful long-term raid.  It is one thing to remember your roots and respect long time veterans.  However, if you treat every new member (or old ones who step up) as temporary solutions you are setting yourself up to fail the next time such a thing happens.  In the same vein if you are a player who tends to take summers off, please be respectful.  Give notice and be honest with your intentions.  Actually come to think of it…. Giving notice and being honest could probably solve 99% of the problems people have with the guilds they are in!

Hybrid Tax: Knowing Facts

•June 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I love things that almost rhyme.  Listen to any rap after 1998 to see what I mean (not a knock on rap, a knock on lazy lyricists)

Hybrid tax is the theoritically dps loss classes that can also heal/tank have.  It’s been semi-confirmed and occasionally denied.  I think it exists more as a problem with balancing: having one dps spec to be competitive as opposed to three options has to be a bit of an inherit design problem.  This *tax* is frequently listed as +/- 5%, but even then you should only really see it in the top tier of play.  +/-5% dps is completley acceptable in almost every style of play and I have never been too concerned with it.

The real hybrid tax that I find is in class knowledge.   With dual-spec in the game it is often expected that a hybrid class have the capability to fill multiple rules, especially in 10 mans.  I recently had to heal for a few boss fights and it took me a couple of pulls to get the hang of certain bosses (and I learned the raids as a healer).  Little tricks like which chakra to be in, when to top people off versus when to let them stay “in the yellow”.

So is it the responsibility of a hybrid player to be well versed in the roles available to him?
I think it is entirely dependent on the individual.  If you are taking offspec gear from your raid; you should be prepared to use it.  If you prefer to not use your other roles be prepared to step out of the raid.  I think it is fair to say that the onus is on you to keep your RL appraised of your capabilities.  This way if the need does arise they can approach you in advance to dust off your grid+clique.
Besides, you will look like a super-hero if you can save the night by switching specs!

How I Learned to Auction House

•June 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m notoriously bad at making gold.  A former guildy (and current GM incidently) would pay for my repairs during unofficial raids so that I could help out his 10-mans.  I barely scraped by with dailies and selling fish feasts.  Then came Cataclysm.  My priest was mining-engineering as I leveled and mining was out of control in deepholm at launch.  I made at least 20k in the first month of the expansion just selling ores.  I used that gold to power-level alchemy.  Then I dabbled in the potion market, transmuting volatile airs to supplement my income.  Gone were the days of borrowing gold to afford epic flying.  I turned one of my now defunct level 80 alts to a scribe and started selling Darkmoon cards.  However I was seemingly stuck at 40k gold.  I was comfortable with this until they announced that the legendary would start with a crafted staff.  Instantly I got flashbacks of former guildies pouring gold into the shadowmourne quest.

My solution: Learn the glyph market.

I didn’t realize that learning how to play the glyph market meant learning the in and outs of the auction house.  As soon as I got the hang of it  the gold came pouring in.  So here’s a few lessons I learned to hopefully ease the pain for AH noobs like myself:

  • Use Add-ons.  I’m currently using Tradeskill Master.  Takes awhile to get used to, but then automates everything.
  • Watch the raw mats.  People seem to be obsessed with under-cutting.  Whenever I get herbs really cheap I shoot the seller a mail offering to buy more at that price, can really pay off.
  • Don’t deep undercut.  You will drive your market down and take a loss of gold for no reason other then impatience.
  • Some markets (stupid glyphs) require a time and gold expense to break into the market.
  • Be patient. Be smart. Mostly be patiently smart.

Greener Grass and Servers

•June 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I did it once on my shaman.  It only lasted two months.  Then I came back home.

I’m a survivor of a server transfer and this is my story.

I consider myself a very, very, very social gamer.  I consider Lothar my home.  In my eyes I’ve built up a reputation on the server as being a friendly and competent player and occasional trade chat troller.  I enjoy running into former guildies and shooting the breeze.  I play this game for the dead dragons and purple pixels.  I love this game for the people.

My first two years playing (yes I’m a Wrath baby.  Deal.) I was very insecure with my abilities.  After making the decision that I had grown too big for my leveling guild I was looking for progression guilds on the server, but didn’t find any that really fit me.  I ended up server transferring to Ner’zhul and joined Conquest (WorldofMatticus.com ‘s guild).  I cannot say enough about this experience, they are such a professional and helpful guild.  However, I missed Lothar.  This was before realid was released and I found myself spending all of my non-raid time back on the alts I didn’t transfer.  After about two months one of my old friends approached me about starting a guild, I tendered my resignation to Matticus, and transferred back to Lothar.

I think I left with the wrong intentions.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could hang with the big guns.  Once I realized I could I didn’t really put any effort into getting to know them.  Even when I was actively raiding on Ner’zhul I spent the majority of my time on Lothar instead of making new connections and friends.  If I could do things differently I would.

If you are thinking of leaving your current server make a check-list of things to do to ensure you’re happiness:

  • In addition to your raiding toon plan on moving support characters (gold farmers, max’d professions, etc)
  • Commit to the server.  Don’t look back.
  • Take stock of your realid.  Add anyone whom you might miss.
  • Invest in your new guild.  Take the time to hang out on vent, gchat, alt-raids, etc
  • Invest in your new server.  Pug!  Make connections.  Strut your stuff!

The Three Talents.

•June 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Look at any Shadow Priests pve spec.  There are three talents that will be missing in almost all of them:

  1. Silence
  2. Paralysis
  3. Psychic Horror

When Blizzard first announced their new talent system they mentioned that we would have alot of *fun* talents in our trees that we could take.  More choices.  However, as it stands there are only mandatory talents for shadow.  We need the 8 point investment into Discipline to reach Archangel.  There is alot of bloat in the shadow tree that ties up our talent points there.  The only *fun* talent that it seems we get to take is dispersion.

I don’t know what the best solution to this problem is.  Talents like veiled shadows and twisted faith seem to be a step in the wrong direction, whilst talents like Shadowy Apparitions are a step in the right direction.  Talents that increase dps through exciting mechanics and not arbitrary numbers are the way I thought things would go, but alas.  I feel the WoW community isn’t ready for it.

 
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